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‘Namaste Trump’: Sabarmati Ashram decks up to welcome Trump amid uncertainty over visit


Ahmedabad, Feb 23: Preparations are on in full swing at the Sabarmati Ashram here for the visit of US President Donald Trump on Monday, even as an official confirmation on it is still awaited.

Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate in a roadshow from the Ahmedabad airport on Monday. The two leaders will later address the 'Namaste Trump' event at a newly-built cricket stadium in Motera area here, according to the schedule announced by the Gujarat government.

‘Namaste Trump’: Sabarmati Ashram decks up to welcome Trump amid uncertainty over visit

A state government official said preparations were also going on at the Sabarmati Ashram, a place closely associated with Mahatma Gandhi, even as they await an official confirmation from the Ministry of External Affairs on the US president's visit to the place.

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"Preparations are underway. It will be officially announced soon," said state tourism secretary Mamta Verma, who was on a visit to the ashram to oversee the arrangements. An official confirmation is expected from the Ministry of External Affairs "within a few hours", she said.

The ashram's secretary, Amrut Modi, said they are prepared to welcome the US President if he visits the place. The ashram's area around 'Hriday Kunj', which was the home of Mahatma Gandhi and his wife Kasturba Gandhi for 12 years between 1918 and 1930 during the freedom struggle, was being given special attention. A large cut-out of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was placed outside the ashram.

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    Security has also been tightened with several police personnel and sniffer dogs deployed in and outside the premises. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Friday said the White House will take a call on Trump's Sabarmati Ashram visit. Rupani's statement came in the backdrop of speculation that the US president will not visit the ashram.

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    Meanwhile, preparations were underway on the route, leading up to the ashram, which will be part of the roadshow, as per the plan shared by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation. Stages have been erected along the road where cultural shows will be held by various artistes.

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